Archive for the ‘U.S. Department of Justice’ Category

Measuring Performance in a Modern Police Organization

May 20, 2015 Comments off

Measuring Performance in a Modern Police Organization
Source: National Institute of Justice

Author Malcolm Sparrow describes some of the narrower traditions police organizations follow when they describe their values and measure their performance (clearance rates, response times, etc.). Sparrow uses the analogy of an airline pilot’s sophisticated cockpit as he advocates that police managers use a broader and richer information environment to assess performance. In easy to understand language, he summarizes the work of several giants in the policing field who have broadened the framework for monitoring and measuring policing (Herman Goldstein, Mark Moore, Robert Behn, etc.).

Psychosocial Maturity and Desistance From Crime in a Sample of Serious Juvenile Offenders

May 12, 2015 Comments off

Psychosocial Maturity and Desistance From Crime in a Sample of Serious Juvenile Offenders (PDF)
Source: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (DoJ)


The Pathways to Desistance study followed more than 1,300 serious juvenile offenders for 7 years after their conviction. In this bulletin, the authors present key findings on the link between psychosocial maturity and desistance from crime in the males in the Pathways sample as they transition from midadolescence to early adulthood (ages 14–25):

• Recent research indicates that youth experience protracted maturation, into their midtwenties, of brain systems responsible for self-regulation. This has stimulated interest in measuring young offenders’ psychosocial maturity into early adulthood.
• Youth whose antisocial behavior persisted into early adulthood were found to have lower levels of psychosocial maturity in adolescence and deficits in their development of maturity (i.e., arrested development) compared with other antisocial youth.
• The vast majority of juvenile offenders, even those who commit serious crimes, grow out of antisocial activity as they transition to adulthood. Most juvenile offending is, in fact, limited to adolescence.
• This study suggests that the process of maturing out of crime is linked to the process of maturing more generally, including the development of impulse control and future orientation.

The Impact of Forensic Science Research & Development

May 7, 2015 Comments off

The Impact of Forensic Science Research & Development
Source: National Institute of Justice

Forensic science R&D in the 1980s laid the groundwork for advances in the 1990s and early 2000s that had a profound impact on crime laboratories. Although the scientific advances, particularly the growth of DNA testing, provided more effective tools for analyzing evidence and identifying perpetrators, they also led to a dramatic increase in the demand for lab services. By the late 1990s and through the 2000s, demand outstripped the ability of the labs to respond quickly and efficiently. Today, scientists and technicians at forensic labs are under relentless pressure to produce results faster and at lower cost.

Capital Punishment, 2013 – Statistical Tables

April 29, 2015 Comments off

Capital Punishment, 2013 – Statistical Tables (PDF)
Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics

At yearend 2013, 35 states and the Federal Bureau of Prisons held 2,979 inmates under sentence of death, which was 32 fewer than at yearend 2012 (figure 1). This represents the thirteenth consecutive year in which the number of inmates under sentence of death decreased.

Five states (California, Florida, Texas, Pennsylvania, and Alabama) held 60% of all inmates on death row on December 31, 2013. The Federal Bureau of Prisons held 56 inmates under sentence of death at yearend.

Interim Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing

April 17, 2015 Comments off

Interim Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing (PDF)
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services

Trust between law enforcement agencies and the people they protect and serve is essential in a democracy. It is key to the stability of our communities, the integrity of our criminal justice system, and the safe and effective delivery of policing services.

In light of the recent events that have exposed rifts in the relationships between local police and the communities they protect and serve, on December 18, 2014, President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order establishing the Task Force on 21st Century Policing.

In establishing the task force, the President spoke of the distrust that exists between too many police departments and too many communities—the sense that in a country where our basic principle is equality under the law, too many individuals, particularly young people of color, do not feel as if they are being treated fairly.

It became very clear that it is time for a comprehensive and multifaceted examination of all the interrelated parts of the criminal justice system and a focused investigation into how poverty, lack of education, mental health, and other social conditions cause or intersect with criminal behavior. We propose two overarching recommendations that will seek the answers to these questions.

0.1 OVERARCHING RECOMMENDATION: The President should support and provide funding for the creation of a National Crime and Justice Task Force to review and evaluate all components of the criminal justice system for the purpose of making recommendations to the country on comprehensive criminal justice reform.

0.2 OVERARCHING RECOMMENDATION: The President should promote programs that take a comprehensive and inclusive look at community based initiatives that address the core issues of poverty, education, health, and safety.

The Impact of Foreclosures on Neighborhood Crime

April 9, 2015 Comments off

The Impact of Foreclosures on Neighborhood Crime (PDF)
Source: National Criminal Justice Reference Service

In the last few years, mortgage foreclosures have uprooted millions of households, and many have expressed concern that the foreclosed homes they leave behind are increasing crime. The three papers that emerged from our project study this question by examining whether and how elevated foreclosures affect different types of crime in the immediately surrounding area, in five cities around the country.

In our first paper, we use point-specific, longitudinal crime and foreclosure data from New York City to examine how foreclosures affect crime on the same blockface– an individual street segment including properties on both sides of the street. We compare changes in crime on blockfaces after homes on the blockface enter foreclosure to changes on other blockfaces in the same neighborhood that did not experience foreclosures during the same time period.

In our second two papers we focus more on identifying mechanisms and also extend our analysis to four other cities to test for generalizability. Our second paper, focused on Chicago, finds similar results as we did in New York City: an increase in the number of properties that receive foreclosure notices appears to increase total, violent, and public order crime on blockfaces in Chicago. In addition, our estimates suggest that foreclosures change the location of crime.

In our third paper, we explore the relationship between foreclosures and crime in five cities, Atlanta, Chicago, Miami, New York, and Philadelphia. Overall, we find that properties banks take over through foreclosure (real estate owned or REO) are associated with higher crime both in the census tract and on the blockface. However, once we control for the number of properties in the foreclosure process (which we can do in three cities), we find no evidence that the presence of REO properties increases crime. Rather, it is the properties on the way to foreclosure auctions that appear to elevate crime.

Collectively, these results suggest that local law enforcement and housing agencies should track foreclosure notices and monitor properties as they go through the foreclosure process, as their owners have little incentive to maintain them.

New Body Armor Website Provides Critical Safety Information to Law Enforcement

April 9, 2015 Comments off

New Body Armor Website Provides Critical Safety Information to Law Enforcement (PDF)
Source: Bureau of Justice Assistance

The Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP) today announced the launch of a new resource for law enforcement and corrections officers when seeking information on high-quality, life-saving equipment., a product of OJP’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and National Institute of Justice (NIJ) features news and information on body armor that meets the standards set forth by NIJ. It is a resource provided by the people who write the standards, test the products and promote officer safety. It is a one-stop resource for body armor information. is hosted by NIJ’s National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center and offers information on how to select, purchase, wear, and care for body armor. It also highlights NIJ’s Compliance Testing Program and the importance of wearing protective vests and includes accounts of officers’ surviving potentially deadly assaults.


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